The Wrestler

Watch The Wrestler

"Athletes...? Actors...? Assassins...?"
  • PG
  • 1973
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 5.2  (239)

The movie The Wrestler from 1974 is a classic sports drama film that highlights the life and struggles of a professional wrestler, portrayed by Edward Asner. The film showcases the intense physical and emotional toll that the sport exacts on the wrestlers in a time when wrestling was still viewed as a legitimate sport. Asner plays Frank Bass, an aging, retired wrestler who is seeking to make a comeback after several years out of the game. Frank is a proud and tough wrestler renowned for his fighting spirit and his never-say-die attitude. He is a legend in his hometown, but despite his years of dedication and hard work, he has never achieved national fame.

Throughout the movie, Frank battles with personal demons as he tries to recapture his former glory. His body is wracked with injuries, his personal relationships are strained, and his financial situation is precarious at best. He is forced to confront his age and mortality and question whether it's worth risking his health and happiness for a chance at one last shot at glory.

Elaine Giftos stars as Laura, Frank's former girlfriend who now works as a stripper. Laura still carries a torch for Frank, but their relationship is complicated by her work and his single-minded determination to succeed as a wrestler. She is a sympathetic character who tries to help Frank come to terms with his situation, but ultimately she cannot save him from himself.

Verne Gagne co-stars as Mike Bullard, Frank's former wrestling partner who becomes his rival when they both enter a competition for the title of the World Champion. Mike is younger and stronger than Frank, but he lacks Frank's experience and fighting spirit. The film builds to an exciting climax as the two wrestlers face off in the ring, with everything on the line.

The Wrestler is a film that explores the highs and lows of professional wrestling, an industry that is often misunderstood by people outside of it. It shines a light on the physical toll that the sport takes on its participants, as well as the emotional toll that comes with the constant struggle to stay on top. By focusing on the human side of the wrestling industry, the movie creates a powerful and moving drama that is still relevant today.

The performances in the film are excellent across the board, with Asner delivering a standout performance as the aging wrestler struggling to reclaim his former glory. He brings a real depth and sympathy to the character, making him more than just a one-dimensional tough guy. Giftos is also excellent in her role as Laura, adding a touch of femininity to a film that is otherwise dominated by male characters.

The wrestling scenes themselves are well-staged, with the actors performing their own stunts and executing some impressive moves. The film captures the excitement of a wrestling match while also highlighting the dangers involved. It's clear that the filmmakers had a real respect for the sport and its athletes, which shines through in the movie.

Overall, The Wrestler is a classic sports drama that tells a story of perseverance, sacrifice, and redemption. It's a movie that will appeal not just to wrestling fans, but to anyone who appreciates a good underdog story. More than 40 years after its release, it continues to be a powerful and relevant film that will stay with viewers long after the credits roll.

The Wrestler
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.2  (239)